|Publication number||US7381053 B2|
|Application number||US 11/102,547|
|Publication date||Jun 3, 2008|
|Filing date||Apr 8, 2005|
|Priority date||Apr 10, 2004|
|Also published as||US20050241962|
|Publication number||102547, 11102547, US 7381053 B2, US 7381053B2, US-B2-7381053, US7381053 B2, US7381053B2|
|Inventors||Lee H. Tuneberg|
|Original Assignee||American Orthodontics Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (20), Referenced by (2), Classifications (11), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims priority of Provisional U.S. Ser. No. 60/561,375, filed Apr. 10, 2004.
The invention relates to the packaging of orthodontic devices, in particular to a packaged, pre-pasted orthodontic bracket wherein the bracket is mounted in a well in a package and supported with a cover film such that the pre-pasted base of the bracket is suspended in the well.
Modern orthodontic techniques include repositioning teeth that are misaligned, too close together or otherwise mis-positioned. In order to reposition the teeth, the teeth are connected to an arch wire that serves as a guide, urging the teeth into the desired position and orientation. In order to connect the teeth to the arch wire, small brackets with slots for receiving the arch wire are attached to the teeth. The ends of the arch wire are normally attached to the molars with another orthodontic appliance known as a buccal tube. In some cases, the bracket or tube is brazed or welded or brazed to a metal band placed around the patient's tooth. However, the preferred method of attaching brackets to a patient's teeth is by means of an adhesive. Bonding brackets to a patient's teeth is more comfortable for the patient, cosmetically more appealing and faster in practice than the use of metal bands.
Applying an appropriate amount of adhesive to the base of an orthodontic appliance such as a bracket or buccal tube can be a time consuming and tedious task for the orthodontist or his or her assistant. Too little adhesive may result in the bracket coming loose from the tooth after installation while an excessive amount of adhesive will be pushed out from between the bracket and tooth, requiring removal. Further, while two-part chemically curing adhesive systems are available for bonding orthodontic brackets to a patient's teeth, many practitioners prefer photo sensitive adhesives that are cured upon exposure to light in the visible spectrum for a relatively short period. Consequently, time is also a factor insofar as the adhesive applied to the bracket can only be exposed to visible light for a limited period before the bracket is positioned on the tooth.
In order to address these issues, pre-pasted orthodontic appliances were developed. Pre-pasted orthodontic appliances have an adhesive, normally a photo sensitive, light curing adhesive, applied to the base of the bracket before the bracket is packaged. Pre-pasted brackets reduce the amount of time required to install brackets on the patient's teeth by eliminating the need for the orthodontist to apply the adhesive to the bracket. Pre-pasted brackets also reduce the amount of wasted adhesive as the manufacturer can precisely control the amount and placement of the adhesive on the base of the bracket.
Packaging for brackets with a pre-applied light curing adhesive must protect the adhesive from exposure to light, as well as from contamination and evaporation. Further, if the adhesive adheres to the package, the adhesive coating may be disturbed when the bracket is removed from the package. Thus, in some cases, the pre-pasted portion of the orthodontic appliance is isolated from the package material with a release coating or layer. In addition, the package should present the bracket to the orthodontist in a fashion that facilitates quick and convenient removal of the bracket from the package.
A packaged, pre-pasted orthodontic bracket in accordance with the invention includes a container having an open well therein and a top surface surrounding the well. A cover film with a central hole is disposed over the top opening of the well and secured to the top surface of the container with a layer of adhesive. An orthodontic bracket mounted in the central hole of the cover film has a base, a central portion extending from the base, at least two opposed tie wings extending from the central portion of the bracket and a layer of light-curable adhesive disposed on the base of the bracket. The bracket is mounted in the central hole of the cover film such that the cover film contacts the central portion of the bracket and supports the bracket with the adhesive layer and base inside the well and the tie wings outside the well. Preferably, the bracket is supported such that the layer of light-curable adhesive is spaced from a bottom wall of the well, and the cover film and the container are opaque to light in the wavelength range used to cure the light-curable adhesive.
In one variation, a second layer of adhesive secures the cover film to the central portion of the bracket. In another aspect, the cover film has a radial slit therein extending from the central hole to an outer edge of the film, permitting the film to be wrapped around the central portion of the bracket. Thus, the film may be wrapped around the bracket such that the film extends more than 360 degrees about the central hole forming an overlapping end flap.
A circular skirt or cover film 26 formed from a thin flexible plastic film covers well 14 and supports bracket 12 in the well. Skirt 26 has a rectangular central opening 28 configured to receive bracket 12, and is adhered to the upper surface of container 16 around the periphery of well 14 with an annular pressure sensitive adhesive layer 30. In order to protect light-curable adhesive layer 22, skirt 26 and container 16 are opaque to visible light, at minimum to wavelengths effective to cure the adhesive, in this example actinic radiation in the range of 400-510 nm. If an additional cover is used as described further below, then skirt 26 may be transparent.
Bracket 12 is positioned in opening 28 such that skirt 26 encircles central portion 20 of the bracket, preferably at a location below and spaced apart from tie wings 18. Skirt 26 supports the bracket with tie wings 18 extending above container 16 and adhesive layer 22 suspended and spaced above bottom wall 17 of well 14. Thus, adhesive layer 22 is prevented from contacting container 16, avoiding the possibility that the light curable adhesive layer 22 will be disturbed by contact with the container.
Inner edges of skirt 26 may engage central portion 20 around its periphery, causing a slight elastic deformation of skirt 26 and thereby holding bracket 12 in the position shown. For this purpose, central opening 28 has dimensions slightly smaller than central portion 20 at the location where skirt 26 engages central portion 20. Alternatively, if central opening 28 is slightly larger and engages central portion 20 at its narrowest point, mechanical engagement can be used to hold bracket 12. Given sufficient stiffness of skirt 26, bracket 12 cannot move either into or out of well 14 when skirt 26 is in place.
Optionally a second layer 32 of pressure sensitive adhesive is positioned around the inner periphery of skirt 42 to adhere skirt 42 to the bracket. Second adhesive layer 32 aids in sealing well 14 to prevent deterioration of paste layer 22. Preferably, layer 32 is formed on skirt 42 and is releaseably adhered to midportion 20 or bracket 12, so that no adhesive residue if left behind when skirt 42 is removed.
Packages according to the invention are preferably placed inside a secondary container providing a gas-tight seal, such as a zip-loc bag. This is especially useful if no inner adhesive layer 32 is used. In addition, one or more caps or covers may be provided over the container 16. As shown in
While certain embodiments of the invention have been illustrated for the purposes of this disclosure, numerous changes in the method and apparatus of the invention presented herein may be made by those skilled in the art, such changes being embodied within the scope and spirit of the present invention as defined in the appended claims.
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|JPH03195548A||Title not available|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US8925719||Mar 14, 2013||Jan 6, 2015||Tp Orthodontics, Inc.||Package for prepasted brackets|
|US9113984||Jul 18, 2013||Aug 25, 2015||Tp Orthodontics, Inc.||Pod for shipping prepasted orthodontic appliances|
|U.S. Classification||433/9, 206/63.5|
|International Classification||A61B19/02, A61C7/00, A61C19/02, A61C3/00|
|Cooperative Classification||A61C19/02, A61C2202/00, A61C7/00|
|European Classification||A61C7/00, A61C19/02|
|Jul 8, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: AMERICAN ORTHODONTICS, WISCONSIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:TUNEBERG, LEE H.;REEL/FRAME:016737/0704
Effective date: 20050412
|Jun 9, 2011||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Jan 15, 2016||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|